Monday, October 16, 2017


I have been torn because I try to keep this blog fun. I did write about my miscarriage but I want this to be a fun place. Also this is public and I know some of you.

If you know me you know I am a worrier and I have depression and ocd. The anxiety comes from years of bad experiences.

I won't go into details or name names. I could but I won't. Years of therapy and the focus was who are the men and lets go bring pitchforks to their homes and seek justice have left me uneasy. For me I want to walk down the street without wanting to cry if a man looks at me. I want to have a conversation with a male coworker without having to avoid his eyes. I want to not project my fears onto my daughter.

I have reasons for not talking about my past. One attacker got caught but for attacking someone else. I did come forward in college and was told it was my fault. I was then told by the counselor that she heard I had pursued him a year prior (fabrication) so all of this was my doing and I had to live with it. Then there was a former coworker after an event where several work associates went to a bar. It turns out this coworker had done similar things to other female coworkers. And almost exclusively in group settings.

It is hard to tell people, often strangers, that you were harmed because you have to be specific. I learned the hard way there is backlash and my attackers were just ordinary men.  In college the fallout was worse than the event. Girls came up to me in awe that I was "with" the attacker. Boys were jealous because I turned them down prior to and post the incident and they were incessant in their frustration of my continued refusuals of their advances. No matter how often I said the truth was not what they thought I was never believed.

It is a problem how victims are treated. We are scared and ashamed. We don't want attention. We just want no one to go through what we endured. I personally don't want to have to triple check every outfit I put on wondering if I will get undue attention. I would like help healing. I have had night terrors for over twenty years and would like eight hours of peaceful rest.

So now we victims are coming out indroves. We are an army. Now what? Will anything change? Will our collective nightmares make an impact this week only to be swept back under the rug next week?

I do have to say I feel better. I have kept some of these thoughts inside way too long.  This was all very personal.  Thank you for reading.  I do hope more people can get punished for these crimes they are committing. I also do sincerely hope that as we stand up and share our stories that less women feel isolated. We can help people understand how wrong it is and hopefully one day soon this widespread abuse will stop.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sorry but waiting in the Emergency Room may be a Good Thing.

I wrote earlier this week that I moved to Maine and am not working full time. The good news is that I work doing switchboard and emergancy room registration. The excellent news is that I want to provide excellent customer service before you go the er the next time by telling you what I have learned. At the bottom of my post I am putting a link to a article that deals with the same topic.

Before I get started I want to share this absolutely amazing video that is about empathy. When you go to a hospital literally everyone has a story. Every person who walks in the door and every employee has a story. I am writing this post as a way to help not tear down. Unless you work in a hospital it is hard to understand why you are waiting or what is happening behind closed doors. WARNING: THIS VIDEO WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO CRY BUT WATCH IT ANYWAY BECAUSE IT IS AMAZING.

1.  I am not clinical.
Sorry I am not clinical. I am here to greet you and then either direct you to the department you need, point you to the sign in sheet to get you into the er, or register you for lab work/radiology. I also answer the phones. I do not know if you have a rash or a burn. I can give you a puke bucket but cannot give you medication. I was hired for my customer service skills. The nurse or Doctor in the er has medical training and they will be able to triage you effectively.
Even though I am not clinical I still care. I applied for and accepted this job knowing I would be helping people because I want to. When you come in the door and you are hurt or scared or sick I want you to be met by a friendly compassionate person. I will do what I can to assure you that you are being heard and you will be assisted.

2. Waiting is not always a bad thing nor is it intentional.
When you go to the emergency room and you see no one in the waiting room you might be surprised when you have a wait. Please don't ever take that wait personally. When you check into the er there is a process flow. At the hospital I work at; for example, you give basic demographic information (name/date of birth) and why you are coming in to be seen. I then enter you into the computer system. If you are having a literal life or death emergency I will call the nurses station or run down a hallway and flag down the first person wearing scrubs. There is also a camera behind me and in the waiting room that can be seen at the nurses station. Once I enter you into the system the nurses know you are in the hospital. I also have 2 to 5 minutes once you tell or hand me your information to put your information in the computer. I type 70 wpm. The nurses know you are waiting.
Now comes the tricky part. Emergency rooms have ambulance bays and a set number of beds. The waiting room could be empty but maybe we had six ambulances pull up. Or maybe we have 4 heart attacks happening. Or maybe a patient in crisis hit a nurse. If someone is coding the clinical staff will be detained. Again; if you are having a life or death literal emergency you will get ushered in quickly. I have seen every bed but 2 full and then an ambulance pull up and six people come in the door back to back. I cannot tell you every bed is full but we are a first come first served establishment. The clinical staff does there best to triage quickly and keep patients moving. Everyone wants to help you, but you may have to wait.

3. You may have to wait to see a loved one. Especially if they came by ambulance.
I always feel bad about telling a loved one it will be a few minutes but it could be up to a half hour before they can see a patient.  When an ambulance arrives the clinical staff immediately beings working. When a patient who walks in and gets assigned to a bed it is the same. There are tests to be ordered. Maybe the patient must be brought to radiology. Maybe an IV is being hooked up. Maybe labs are being drawn.  Sometimes the exam room can only hold two or three visitors and there are already four visitors in the room. I have heard some patients refuse visitors. When you come to visit I will notify the nursing staff with the same urgency as if you are a patient. It is most likely a message in the computer or a phone call to the nurses station. The nurse will get you as soon as they can or as soon as your loved one gets back to their room. I know you are worried and I want to help. I know you are upset and I want to help.

3. If there is a wait and you want to leave.
Please be patient.  Once you check in you are getting billed.  I also do not know wait times at other hospitals but if they have an ambulance bay like us it varies on a minute to minute basis. The nurses know you are here. Once I enter you in the system your medical history pops up. A wristband prints with any allergies. The clinical staff makes preperations to begin triaging you even if you are waiting. You will be seen.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helps alleviate some stress when waiting at the er.

Finally positive steps in the right direction. Potty training hints. VA vs. SSI rant

Wow. What a long strange year it has been.

So last fall I started looking for an apartment in Maine and my employer in RI was nice enough to close our department down so I didn't have to worry about quiting. On Dec. 1 we moved to Maine. Following an administrative nightmare A. finally began school and day treatment at Woodford's Family Services. This school has been a blessing. A. is sociable, calmer, better at motor skills, and has made improvements all around. He is using PECS at school and to some success at home. I could not be happier. He has pt/ot/speech at school.   I know some parents are hesitant to put their children in schools/classrooms that are strictly special needs but these teachers are specalized.  They can more effectively work with behaviors.

The best part of the move is he is so much happier. Woonsocket, RI was a never ending cacophony.  Here in our sleeepy Maine town we don't have to non-stop din and dischord.  I had trouble sleeping the first six months due to the lack of sirens, yelling, fireworks (or what sounded like air strikes/gunfire). For a toddler with sensory processing issues moving to a quiet area has helped tremendously. He no longer has an anxious look on his face in the evening. He has no reason to come running for a hug when a car is blasting music. He doesn't wake up screaming due to people engaged in shouting matches outside at 2 am.

I finally broke down on my no meds stance and allowed a script for vegetable based melatonin to be filled. Nighttime was too chaotic. He would either stay awake until 2 am or tearfully surrender to uneasy slumbet to wake up in a bad mood at 3 am.  The melatonin so far has mixed results. Thankfully we do not have the paradoxial effect.  About a half hour after his dose is administered he gets sleepy and will lay down. Most nights he sleeps until 6 or 7 am. Some nights he still has a hard time falling asleep but those nights are now an exception to the rule.  Melatonin is a sleep aid that is probably safer in its natural form but it might not be for everyone.

His school offers case managers who will facilitate home based therapy which we desperately need. After a two part intake which took place here at home we got put on the waiting list. Although Maine in general has a long waiting list, this area has a short waiting time.  The case manager is also going to try to get A. music therapy because music captivates and calms him. Because A. still has problems with the baby we will also have a behavior therapist observe them both and offer solutions to encourage a positive sibling relationship.

One constant issue we have had for about the last two years is mornings seem to be a surprise. A. has gone to school since April 2016 so the reutine is more or less the same. Up. Clean up. Eat. Clean up again. Get dressed. Wait for bus. Almost every morning this confuses him. He gets upset and has meltdowns almost everyday. The only days he avoids meltdowns in the morning is on non-school days. I think that is because we get to move a little slower.  The case manager said this is actually typical autistic behavior. When autistic children wake up it is like 50 First Dates for the beginning part of the morning. This surprised me because repetition is essential for people with autism. I have adjusted the morning reutine to allow for more time to get ready to see if that helps.

Our new pediatrician is amazing. He offered two potty training tips I cannot wait to share.
1.  It is easier to have a bowel movement if you can brace your feet againt something solid and harder if your feet are dangling. On the Doctor's suggestion we got A. a stool.
2.  The pediatrician said to give A. a pinwheel to blow on the potty. The action of exhaling moves the muscles that makes having a bowel movement easier. Due to A's cicumstances this doesn't help but it might help others.

I have been hesitant to get A. signed up for SSI because he is 4 but honestly since I can't work full time the income would be a tremendous help. I completed the lenthy questionaire and then had the equally lengthy phone interview. One of the questions was about veteran status. I answered the question honestly. I went through basic training then in tech school I hyperventailated then fainted while running. After a medical exam I was diagnosed as having asthema. I still feel it was running in April in Texas while wearing sweats but thats another issue.  The representative at the social security administration then told me it sounds like I am a veteran because I was in the military during a time of war. I said I most definetly am not a veteran. I told her I never served and then told her the story of TSG a brave Army soldier who almost lost his life in Afganistan and people like him are veterans. I told her about B. who was in the service 20 years and my Grandfather who served in WWII and his brother who fought at D-Day. Those are veterans. I was sent home from a med hold flight.  Well red tape won and I had to file a pension claim with the VA. If I am fortunate my claim will have an answer by 2/18/2018. Maybe.  I honestly feel compassion for the claims rep who got assigned my paperwork. Actual people have real claims and I just am forced to do this so my son can get SSI. It feels like a waste of time and resources. I hope my son's claim doesn't get closed because of this horribly ineffective system.

Hopefully will post again soon

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Interview with local author Chad Descoteaux

This is beyond exciting for me! I have asked a few people if I can interview them because I think they are interesting and because I believe in the works they do.
As any regular reader knows, I write about life with my son who is developmentally delayed. He was originally diagnosed with the very broad term Sensory Processing Disorder.  As of this year he got the autism diagnosis. I feel the diagnosis is only a term to help him get help, not a label, not a punishment. A. can be anything in life he aspires to be and I will help him get there.
My other favorite topic is anything nerdtastic. My third favorite topic is books.  If I could mash these three things together what would I get?
I would like to introduce local writer, director, aspiring rapper, and original Gerber baby Chad Descoteaux.  I own two of his early books, watched  The Fuzzy Bunny movies as well as Science Fiction Cereal which are viewable on his You Tube channel.  His more recent works are available on his website.  Chad can be followed on Twitter  as well.  
What I like is he has persevered. He had a small local fan base that essentially started among his group of friends. Soon he was showcasing his books at our city's annual Oktoberfest celebration. He never stopped being creative and has moved his work space from the table in his kitchenette to a an actual writer's office filled with geeky memorabilia that would make the lads from the IT Crowd weep.
I am thrilled that he was nice enough to take time out of his schedule to grant me an interview. Honestly, his stuff is very original and funny. Please take the time to explore his works.

1. Before we talk about your work and the creative process, could you tell me, in your own words of course, which ninja turtle always brings his A game and why?  Well, I would say Leonardo, just because he is the most intense student of the martial arts out of the four.  Between being a perfectionist and the responsibility of being the big brother and the leader, he is always bringing his A game.
2. How long have you been writing?  I’ve been writing since I was a kid.  I always enjoyed creative writing assignments in school.  And it was reading Bruce Coville’s ‘My Teacher is an Alien’ series when I was in fifth grade that made me want to write my own stories.
Out of your books, which was the hardest to write?  ‘Working-Class Superheroes’, That story focused more on the larger world, with a lot of superhero characters, so when I did the rough draft, I had to figure out who the main character was.  I think I made the right choice, picking the most relatable one, but that was the challenge.
Which was the most enjoyable to write?  ‘The Inter-Terrestrial’, because that one is just the ultimate nerd fantasy, between the aliens and the kung fu and the geek getting the girl. Characters I am proud of and very satisfying.
3. Do you plan on making any more movies?  I plan to make one or two book trailers to advertise my work on YouTube.  And I had the idea to make a few short films that take place in the same universe as ‘The Tattler’ to advertise that book.  But those plans are in the early stages.
4. A subject that is close to home for me is autism.  My son was recently diagnosed. When did you discover that you have Asperger's?  I discovered that a few years ago, when I was in my thirties.  I researched the condition because I have a second cousin with a more severe case and I wanted to understand his challenges.  Then, I started reading all of the symptoms and it filled in a lot of blanks going back into my childhood as to why I did/felt certain things.  So, I went to a shrink and got diagnosed.
5. As an adult with Asperger's what are some of your biggest challenges?  Social anxiety.  Any kind of social interaction makes my brain more tired than it does for a normal person.  And it has nothing to do with whether or not I like the person/people I am with.  I could be with people I love to death and I still want to go home and lock myself in my office after a while.  I am fortunate enough to have friends who understand these things, but growing up, I had people (teachers/family) pointing out things that I did well and saying “well, you’re so smart, why can’t you do this?”  Like when I would get poor grades.  That never made sense to me, even before I was diagnosed.  “Why can’t people be good at one thing and stink at something else?  You’re a smart teacher and you suck at being tactful.”  (Aspies thrive on logic.)  As far as advertising my books is concerned, publishing e-books has been a blessing in disguise because I couldn’t do book signings if I wanted to.  It’s digital!  Leave me a review on Amazon, though!
6. Your wife is gorgeous!  Well, thank you!
7. What is your favorite cereal? Corn Pops.  Side note: I am a snob when it comes to cereal.  Any other product, I have no problem buying the generic version, even soda, which I love.  But I want Kellogg's Corn Pops, not Corny Poofs.
8. Marvel or DC?  I like Marvel better because the characters are far more relatable.  Good versions of DC characters (The Flash TV show, Bruce Timm’s cartoons) borrow the ‘relatable secret identity’ thing that Marvel started and are better for it.
9. What are some upcoming projects you are working on?  I am working on a sequel to my book ‘The Tattler’, called ‘The Tattler: Losing Time’.  I just started on the rough draft, but it’s coming along very well.
10. What advice can you give to my son, and other children on the spectrum? Surround yourself with people who get you and do the best you can.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Why so much hate for Suicide Squad?

I saw Suicide Squad with a good friend who is a Batman fan a few weekends ago.  We both entered with no expectations. Her familiarity with Batman is essentially based on the cartoon that aired in the '90s. The cartoon is exceptional as has been noted many times by people much more eloquent and with more nerd cred than I, if you are not familiar with it, it can be viewed on Amazon.  One of the more notable aspects of the show is it introduced  Harleen Quinzel, better known as Harley Quinn.  All Harley Quinn needs to make her happy is her Puddin'....the Joker.  Their tempestuous love, and Harley Quinn's backstory were excellently explored in the Mad Love comic. What drives a woman in love crazy? How can a woman so smart enter such a self-destructive relationship? Dark themes for a comic story steeped in psychological storylines.

The only other member of Suicide Squad as portrayed in the movie was Killer Croc. I have to say I heaved a sigh of relief when I discovered his cannibalism would not be explored in this movie.

I was trepidatious of  Will Smith as deadshot only because I was worried that he would be playing Will Smith, not Deadshot, but his over-the-top acting lends itself well to the character.

I have not read the Suicide Squad comic books so I don't have anything to relate to, but I enjoyed the story thoroughly. I walked in with no expectations other than Harley Quinn would be amazing. The reality was I left more in love with the Joker's main squeeze and I desire to read more books featuring Diablo. This Mexican gang-banger lost literally everything he loved because of his own doing. I felt unlike the other characters in the movie who embraced their dark sides (Deadshot saying "You know the dark places, too." comes to mind) he saw his strictly as a business. When he realized this other thing lived in him, it was too late.  I like Harley Quinn because I identify with her self-destructive side. As someone who once hinged everything on the wrong guy, I totally get it. The draw of the uncertainty and the desire to tame the wildness sucks one into the madness of the wrong person. It is strongly implied that Harley Quinn suffered a miscarriage or according to comic book cannon, had a child she kept hidden from the Joker that she sent to be raised by her sister. The overwhelming guilt of either of those scenarios could easily make ones feel the only way to serve penance is to remain in a relationship that constantly punishes them.

Believe it or not, but my favorite part of the movie was the much panned soundtrack.  It kept the movie going at a fast pace. Even if some of the songs are over used in other movies, again it is the over-the-topness that appealed to me. This is a movie based on a comic book series about the craziest of villains in the Batverse. They aren't underdogs, they aren't antiheroes, they are villains. They are villains with their lives literally on the line. If they go against the cutthroat Amanda Waller, its off with their heads. The theme of evil versus evil is explored to great success.  The movie may have undergone edits to reduce run time, but the fast pace helped keep the feel of the movie being a comic book. Out of all the current DC movies, this was my favorite.  Batman vs Superman was just too long and the action was far and in between. Superman felt like they were turning Supes into Batman.

The only criticism I have is I do not like the trend of these ensemble movies that multiple characters must be in one movie. It makes the movie claustrophobic to have that many characters in one movie at one time.

All in all though, this movie gets 10 stars. Does the movie deserve the negative press? Perhaps, but I feel it is worth a watch.

Great thing happened today piano lessons started! Also, chew tubes!

Good things are happening here!

Sorry for lack of posts lately. Life with an autistic three year old and four month old are crazy making times!

A. loves music. He has always had a special relationship with it. The husband of the woman who ran the daycare he went to would play acoustic guitar for him and he would hum along.  When my son hears songs that he is familiar with he settles down rather quickly.

I have been trying to encourage this love of music. We have three different toy pianos, maracas, four different drums, two xylophones, a toy trumpet, and a toy flute. The instrument he gravitates to the most is his piano.

The piano was actually mine when I was his age. I kept it in the hopes my children, if I ever had any, would enjoy it.

M.P. is someone I have known for a few years now. She is extremely kind and warm hearted. I didn't know she taught piano, but I worked up the courage to ask her if she could be the Anne Sullivan to my son's Helen Keller. Taking on an autistic non-verbal toddler as a client cannot be an easy task.  She told me she worked with children with ADHD so she knows some techniques to use to get a child to focus. We showed up at her house today with the kids, A. working on his new chew  tube (more on that later). I got nervous because she has a beautiful home with lots of glass and shiney things that A. was more interested in than the piano.  After M.P. demonstrated how the piano makes actual songs, A. was all in. He allowed her to use the hand over hand technique for finger placement to learn C,D,E and taught me and my husband how to do the proper hand placement so we can practice on our toy piano.  The lessons will be short, but I feel that with time this will be helpful to A.

The newest adventure in life with autism is the chew tube! A. grinds his teeth incessantly and is constantly mouthing. The speech therapist at his school suggested chew tubes. Not having heard of them before I did some research. These silicone tubes come in different textures and can be attached to clothing using a strap or can be used on a necklace with a breakaway clasp.  They come in different firmness and texture options and can be a little pricy depending on where purchased. I use Amazon and am an Amazon Prime subscriber because these things are lifesavers. He can chew on them until they show signs of wear, then they need to be replaced.  This is a must have for an autistic/SPD child.

Coming soon: The long awaited Paul Bateman interview!!!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Possible danger of Hyland's Teething Tablets

I am in a Facebook mom group with the woman who is in the above link. She watched her baby have seizures and shared with us the videos of the seizures. She shared with us taking her daughter to specialists to find the cause of the seizures. Please use caution when giving your children any OTC medication and share this video.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Looking to buy Mary Kay? Look no further

This is the link to my friend's Mary Kay website. This amazing young woman has accomplished more before 21 than most people do by 40. She is an LPN, and is currently working as a school nurse. She is down to earth and has a good head on her shoulders. In addition to allowing my developmentally delayed son be a ring bearer at her wedding, she babysits him from time to time which can be challenging. She has started selling Mary Kay and if you are looking for Mary Kay products, I have attached the link to her  website at the top of this post.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Star Trek Renegades news and some randomness

Star Trek Renegades will not be picked up as a series by CBS. My source on the production team discussed a little about what's going on and it is all red tape stuff. But, it will be a crowd sourced web series. Walter Keoning confirmed he would be back for at least two more episodes and then he would retire his iconic Russian character. Since I am pretty sure Russians invented the internet this makes sense that he would be on board. I will post the kickstarter information as soon as I have it.

I posted before that my son will be a ring bearer. I am going to the bridal shower tomorrow. So excited for the bride sn and groom.

This pregnancy has me unbelievably thirsty all the time. I am kind of nervous since I had Gestational Diabetes with my son. I also can't get over the vivid movie quality dreams I keep having. I forgot about those. The Midwife ordered prenatal vitamins for me last evening and I have to pick them up at the hospital's pharmacy.

Don't know if I mentioned it, but my new job is walking distance from my house. My last job was an hour away. Not only is it incredibly nice to be home by 3:40 everyday, but I have the added benefit of being able to walk home for lunch everyday. Life is good.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Really personal news.

OK so I am using the blog mostly to discuss raising a developmentally delayed son and some nerdy things. But I wanted to share some news about me.

I have written in passing that my husband is losing his job in the fall. I found a new job and started on August 10th. I felt fine my first week of work and then on August 15 I went to my cousin's wife's baby shower. I felt a little bloaty so I wore a body shaper under my dress. Brunch was served and I ate two plates because it was the best food I ever ate. I also peed twice in two hours. I came home and I felt like I was going to vomit everything I ever ate in my life. Sunday I also felt really sick.  For the next five days everyday after lunch I felt like I was dying. I almost asked my boss if I could go home early Friday afternoon because I wanted to vomit and then lay down and sleep for about ten years.  On a whim I asked my husband if he could pick me up a pregnancy test.

Not sure how visible the result is but for the fourth time since 2011 I am pregnant. I had a miscarriage January 2012, and another January 2015.  I am not prepared for this at all. Did I mention I just started a job? Like just started not even four weeks ago?

I cannot even enjoy this pregnancy. I am living in terror that I will miscarry again. The last miscarriage, I had the baby at home. I cannot handle that again.

I wanted to keep this a secret from my job, but sure enough my boss asked me first thing Monday morning if I was pregnant. I almost started crying. She assured me I would not be fired. The good news is I work for a hospital so if I need to run and have labs done, it won't really interfere with the  work day that much.

I don't work in the hospital but in a business office across the street. I was able to meet today with a midwife who works in the suite over from where I work.  She confirmed I am 4 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I had a C-section with my son and she stated the hospital does not offer VBACs at this time but she in campaigning to have them offered. Given that news, I do not know if I will stay with her for the next eight months because I don't really want another C-section if it can be avoided.  I have an ultrasound September 8 to check size and viability.

I haven't told really anyone yet so to those of you who know me in real life, guess what? I didn't want to announce it this way, but I think maybe blogging through this journey, even if it involves the good the bad and the ugly might be therapeutic for me.

I really wanted another child, and I was hoping to foster ( but that didn't really pan out the way I wanted.  I wanted to have another child but I don't want to experience the heartache of losing another baby.

I am a carrier for cystic fibrosis, my husband is not so no cf babies, and that increases chances of miscarriage while lowering fertility. I am hoping this baby sticks. So far no complications. I have had normal morning sickness and my belly really popped. Like I look about four months pregnant. That concerns me, but not the midwife as of today.

I had GD with my son so I am going to have the test early.

Hoping for a healthy baby in about eight or so months.........

STAR TREK RENEGADES IS ON YOU TUBE! I am sharing the link with you all.

Have you seen Star Trek Renegades yet?

You can watch it here:Star Trek Renegades on YouTube

I saw Renegades and thoroughly enjoyed it. You can read my review here: and if you want to know why I am so happy about Renegades, I talk about that here:

Update on my Son

My little guy is still non vocal.  The good news is that at daycare he laughs with other children.

I posted before that he might need surgery for undescended testicles. Good news! He saw a urologist and all is good and no surgery needed.

He also saw an opthomologist. He might have an astigmatism. At least we have a good health plan.

He had his first haircut. He was really calm all things considered. His curls are more defined now.

This weekend he went to his first party. Apparently licking outdoor toys is more fun than splashing in a wading pool.

He is still slow, but does some things as a toddler would. Eating fruits and   vegetables is slow torture. The terrible twos have hit with a vengeance. Bedtime is an almost impossible struggle. I love this phase because he is developing his own personality. He is also trying to test limits so I have to start being more firm. Watching him grow is exciting and I can't wait to see what comes next.

My Brief Venture into being a Foster Parent

Back in June it became known to me that someone I went to high school with had a baby in need of being fostered. I have posted that I have had miscarriages in the past and I desire to have another child. Having a child with developmental delays is stressful so I thought rather than having him and a newborn, having him and an eleven month old would work out.

The case worker came out to the apartment and said the foster child and my son would be perfect play companions and then I never heard from her again. I called repeatedly and finally I emailed her. The case had been transferred and she gave me the contact information of caseworker number two.

Number 2 took almost two months to return my calls. I left dozens of voicmails indicating that whatever paperwork needed to be done I would be more than happy to begin as soon as possible. We threw away furniture my son's room and donated some of his toys and clothes to make room for the foster child. We even got a bag of stuffed animals, clothes, and books for her to welcome her home. We had a friend who had a brand new crib and was just waiting to bring it by the house. Due to my husband getting laid off in October, I started looking for work and found a job. I had a start date and enrolled my son in daycare.  Finally I got the call! The baby urgently needed to be placed. Could I enroll her in daycare ASAP, oh and no she can't go where my son is going because he is going to a daycare out of state ?  I  was on the case! I called over 100 daycares within a 10 mile radius. If the answered, either they were not licensed, the infant rooms were full, or the hours would not work. Finally I found a place that could take her 3 days a week. I found a friend that could watch her the other two days. My husband will be losing his job soon, and he is looking for a second or third shift job anyway so we don't have to keep our son in daycare. He could watch both kids. Well, turns out my friend didn't pass the background check. I called 100  plus more day cares, centers, and professional nannies. Oddly not one place passed a background check. I finally found a daycare that would take the baby. Oddly enough she could not enroll the baby without meeting the baby, per state regulations, but the caseworker would not us have the baby if we could not enroll her in daycare. Also, my mother who is an RN and routinely performs treatments on infants and toddlers could not pass a background check. I got a very brief email stating I do not qualify to be a foster parent.
I am still stunned. The EI coordinator several times she would vouch for me and my husband since EI is here several times a week.  It is routinely seen in the news that foster children have been abused or neglected by their foster families. We have proven that we can raise a happy child and have been demonstrating this for over two years now. We would have loved to have had her in our home. Hopefully one day we can get approved. I  am not saying the caseworker didn't do her job but I  still can't understand how a RN who works with children cannot pass a background check.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Sorry I haven't posted in forever. Life got very crazy. We might be fostering a child so we got very busy with organizing our tiny apartment and doing all the background checks and paperwork involved with that, my husband is losing his job, I have been interviewing like crazy. I finally found a job, but now I need a physical, high school diploma (from a school that closed in CA), immunization records from birth (my pediatrician died in the 80s), an valid driver's licence (mine expired and going to the DMV with a two year old for a day trip sounds so exciting I put it off way too long), and a physical. I also have about 80 pages of paper including a test on how to insert catheters to complete (I am going to be a patient account representative. I really, really hope they never have to rely on me to do sterile procedures, although I can change a colostomy bag). All this must be done Thursday at 10 am. I am also currently scrambling to find daycare to cover the overlap between the start of my new job, and the end of my husband's current job. I plan on doing a blog post to catch you all up on my son's development soon.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Some progress


So today my son and I were snuggling on the couch after breakfast and I started tickling his feet through his socks. I took his socks off and started tickling his toes. He said "piggies!" through peals of  giggles and started laughing really hard after he said it. So of course we had some very fun rounds of the popular tickle filled nursery rhyme.

It was very nice to hear him make a connection. Any little bit of progress is something we celebrate. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

OT and Speech Therapy June 24, 2015

This was not the most productive visit by a long shot,  but we got to talk a bit about the two year checkup. You can read about Monday's checkup here.

C. the COTA and M. the Speech Therapist came by and my son came to the door with me to greet them. The last few times he has an been very upset to see them. When I opened the door,  he smiled broadly at C. and grabbed her hand. He was babbling to her and was super happy, until we came into the living room.  As soon as we all sat down, he started crying and clutching at me. I got him some Annie's White Cheddar Bunnies and water as a snack and M. and C. observed him eating.  He picked up his little snack bowl and tipped it into his mouth.  M. stopped him from choking. My son countered by sticking his hand into the bowl and grabbing literally a fistful of bunnies and tried unsuccessfully to mash them all in his mouth.  C. started rationing his bunnies one at a time.

As he ate, I told them about the Pediatrician's concerns about his weight.  They both looked surprised and said he looks propionate and he has a pot belly. M. said both me and my husband are a compact little couple so we probably aren't going to have a large child.  C.  suggested giving my son Ensure as well as increasing the amount of milk he drinks from two cups to four, or more cups per day. M. suggested ranch dressing made with whole milk as a tasty condiment that also gives calories. C. suggested to use condiments and have him learn how to dip food in them so he slows down a bit while eating.  M. said that the same thing happened with her child and she gave them a scoop of ice cream after lunch. She said kids this young don't have cholesterol issues so it isn't that bad to do. I told hem I bought sour cream and I was stirring that into his food, only about a spoonful, and also I add olive oil to most of his food as well.  C. said we can use snack time as a way to connect.  We can work on eye contact, and fine motor skills, as well as language skills.  For example, I can make him ask for more using either sign language, or eventually words. 

I also told them about the Autism screening. M. looked surprised and asked why I think that is a good thing.  I told her if my son has Autism, it would be good to know so then we can start focus helping him instead of just giving general help for a delayed child, and if he doesn't have it, that is good to know too.  C. said that I should not be very surprised if it takes more than one visit to the CNDC to get a diagnosis, or to confirm he doesn't have Autism. 

When I told them about his potential upcoming surgery, M. said to let them know so all services can suspend until he is healed which takes about 2 days.  They both said it is pretty routine, and more than likely it would be laproscopic.

By this time my son was done eating/mashing bunnies into the rug and was drinking his water.  We took a quick time out for me to vacuum and finally, halfway through the visit his actual therapy could begin.

But my son was still not feeling it today.  They used the sensory ball which he usually likes.  Finally they were able to use the Melissa and Doug Peek a Boo Farm puzzle to get his attention.  

We had some actual success today.  My son usually just bounces on his legs but today he held my hands and actually jumped on the floor. He lifted his feet clear off the ground.  They are going to tell T. the Physical Therapist about this.

My son showed C. and M. how his climbing is getting better by climbing up on the couch all the way up so he could look out the window.

I told M. that my son said "hug I love hug" to me and then hugged me Monday night. It melted my heart to hear that.  I told C. how he paralleled played with three little girls that we know over the weekend. The girls range in age from 3 to 7 and they had a stuffed pig. My son watched them play with the pig and the four kids picked dandelions and shared them with each other.  That went so well, we are going to try to make with the parents so the kids can play again.

I think that is all that happened this visit.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My brother gave a TED talk on black holes

My brother,  David Neto, graduated from Rhode Island College with the highest gpa in physics since the school opened. He gave a TED talk on black holes, and other than his mutton chops, it is pretty good.  I am attaching a link to the talk below.

My son's two year checkup, not as much progress as I had hoped.

Yesterday my son had his two year checkup. It was sort of late since he turned two in April, but we had scheduling conflicts.

Seeing how much progress he made in other areas,some of the visit was a shock to me.

We got a huge surprise when he got weighed. Somehow my eating machine is only 23.5 pounds and 33 inches. If you remember, we had nutritional services for a while because he wasn't gaining and growing in the past. The Pediatrician asked us what he eats. I told him that the day starts with fruit, goat yogurt and cereal, plus water and whole milk, or whole goat's milk; lunch is either leftovers or eggs and vegetables in a wrap, or peanut butter and banana sandwich, or quinoa and vegetables or something to that effect; supper is whatever I made for supper that night. He gets milk before bed, and when he is hungry he gets snacks. I also drizzle olive oil on his food so he gets more healthy fat. He needs to eat more snacks, and we have to go back to the Pediatric Gastroenterologist to check that everything is working ok.  If you guys could see him eat, you would be impressed with how much this kid packs away. He has chubby cheeks, a huge pot belly, and very chubby legs. He certainly does not look underweight and he is solid as a brick. I would definitely love advice on what I can do to help him healthfully add weight.

She then asked if he is showing signs of potty training readiness which I think he is. He pulls off his diaper, he holds his bladder, he grabs his crotch when he is wet. Since he is nonverbal she said we would have to work out a strategy for him to signal when he needs to go, which we already did. OT suggested we take a picture of his potty and put it where he can see it and point to it and say "It is time to go to the bathroom." She said we can certainly go ahead with potty training, but since he is nonverbal, and has developmental delays she said to really not push too hard.

She then proceeded with examining him and when she got to his genitals, she looked concerned. She asked with a worried voice if we noticed his testicles in his scrotum when he takes a warm bath.  My husband and I looked at each other and no we don't pay particular attention to our son's scrotum when he is in the bath. She then said his scrotum looks empty and asked if we noticed his testicles ever. I said I see them time to time when I change his diaper, but again, I don't pay particular attention to that region other than making sure it is clean and well, looks ok.  She said he needs to have an ultrasound to make sure they are not twisted inside his body and he may need surgery to pull them down and pin them into his scrotum.  I thought my husband was going to pass out when she said that.  She said it is a routine procedure and there is always the chance they will drop before the surgery.  For those medically inclined, here is the procedure that may be done:

Finally we got to his developmental delays.  She said A. the EI coordinator called the office and said my son has rigid behavior patterns, is nonverbal, had issues with gross and fine motor skills, has low muscle tone, and does not play as a twenty four month old child should be. She asked if I agree. She made a referral for him to get an Autism screening done.  I told her that I am so happy that finally that is going to happen.  If you remember, I wrote about concerns with Autism before. You can read past entries and that sum up more or less how I feel he might have Autism.  We can handle this, and I wanted to get a diagnosis for a while now because then we will know how to better support him and help him succeed.  This isn't his journey, or my journey, it is our journey. I need to learn how to be a good mom and support to him, and he needs to learn how to comfort himself, how to adapt, and how to play up his strengths.  I am reading Temple Grandin's right now and have taken books on Autism out of the library.  This screening is going to benefit all of us and I frankly cannot wait to go.

We have a full week ahead with OT, going to Sensation Station and meeting with a mother of an Autistic child later this week.  I will keep up with my blog about our journey as I have been doing.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Star Trek Renegades North America Premire

From Star Trek Renegades official Facebook page:

The production team is in talks to rent a very large theater so cast, crew, and fans can all meet together to watch the pilot/film.  It looks like the showing will be in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, August 1st.  Based on what is on Facebook at this time, there are not any firm plans for YouTube or DVD releases.  It also looks at this time, it is not known when the general public can see Renegades.

You can get more up to date news on their website

Renegades really is good.  This fan truly hopes we haven't seen the last of Star Trek Renegades.

Star Trek Blog

I was looking through my Google Analytics information for this week and I saw one of my referring sites was  This is a very cool blog. It is links to Star Trek fan films and news from around the internets.  I spent way too long checking out all the information on the blog. If you have the chance, I would suggest taking a look at it.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jessleecreations on Etsy

I would like to share this ETSY store with you all. Jess makes adorable crocheted items that are reasonably priced.  These make great gifts, or even presents for yourself.   I really like the bottle holders.  She even makes lovies for children.

I should soon be receiving this Yoda lovey:
Yoda lovey

I will be reviewing the Yoda lovey when I receive it.

Here is the bottle cozy:
Medium Water bottle holder

She even makes bags:
Medium reusable grocery bag

You can visit her Etsy store at:

Signs of more progress. OT and Speech Therapy 06/10/15

I was not sure how this visit would go today.  My son spent the weekend howling in pain from teething.  He is getting his two year molars right now and he is not enjoying it at all.  He also came down with a pretty nasty cold that resulted in a low grade fever. He never went about 101 which is good, but he was awfully miserable.

C. showed up and had A., a new COTA with her today.  I discussed the Sensation Station with them while we waited for M. the Speech Therapist to arrive.  C. was pretty excited because one of her professors opened the Sensation Station.  We discussed how my son is saying "go car" and how he is climbing now, by using me as a jungle gym.  M. showed up shortly after C. and A. arrived and I told them all how my son was under the weather and that I wanted to at least try to see if we could do the hour session.

My son started crying when C. and A. went in the living room. This was new behavior and it concerned me.  He shied away from C. when she sat on the floor to engage him.  He was also wary of M.  I could see him being shy with A. since he never met her before, but C. and M. he has seen multiple times.

My son has sensory balls, similar to the image below.  M. started the session off by rolling the ball along the bottom of his feet and down his arms.

This calmed him down and M. and C. played with my son using his sensory box. Because he settled right down, M. suggested doing deep pressure massage, or the ball on his feet to settle him down when I need his attention.  I think we will do this when we do ring bearer practice. He normally likes to just empty it, but he is learning what comes next, and he filled it back up.  

Because my son was irritated due to teething and being a little sick, M. and C. let him play at his own pace a little bit today.  

C. told me that there is going to be a sensory play group at the beach this summer.  I am not sure if we will be able to attend, but I think that is an excellent idea.  

Because my son was literally howling in pain over the weekend due to teething pain, I broke down and bought him some teething gel.  C. said many parents don't use it because sometimes kids swallow it and it numbs their throats.  She suggested  in addition to massaging his cheeks, to give him popsicles.  They make mini popsicles that would be perfect for him.  I told her I have been freezing fruit, like mangos as well and he seems to enjoy that.  

M. and I were talking and she mentioned my son paying attention to the world around him more.  I asked if that is what she wants to hear more about. When she answered positively, I told her that we were walking and my son saw a big black ant cross in front of him.  He wasn't sure how to respond, he just stood on the sidewalk with his arms raised wiggling his fingers. His eyes were wide and he wasn't moving.  I told him it is just an ant and I bent down to point at it.  My son also crouched down, eyes wide, staring.  He also reacts more to sirens and especially motorcycles.  Even if he doesn't look straight at them, he raises his arms and wiggles his fingers with his hands moving.  Or he stands still and shakes a little bit.  He really likes the sounds motorcycles make, he tries to find where it is coming from.  Over the weekend, we went to  a friends house.  My son engaged in back and forth play with an 18 month toddler by passing stuffed robots back and forth to him.  The two toddlers went on a little wagon ride around the house and my son maintained eye contact with him, and did back and forth play the whole time.  For my son, this is big.  There were four boys in total ranging in age from 18 months to 12 years old.  My son didn't really play with any of them more than the back and forth play with the baby, but he did watch them. In the past, he would not acknowledge other children.  At one point, the 18 month old and an eight year old were on a trampoline and my son wanted to join them.  He was fine until he realized I was too big for the children's trampoline and could not join him, at which point he started crying.  But he wanted to be near other  children.  Later in the evening, my son wanted something the 18 month old was holding so he walked over to him and grabbed it out of his hands. M. said she likes bad behavior. She said my son was aware that he wanted the object, he was aware someone else had it, and was aware of how to get it. That is three levels of awareness. She was really happy that he is progressing. 

This was a really good session as always.  Looking forward to next week. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Why I am so Excited about Star Trek Renegades

When I first heard of Star Trek Renegades, I did not know that I believed what I was hearing. I  was told that there was a new Star Trek series that may be picked up by CBS depending on how well the pilot is received. It was going to be a kickstarter and hopefully would be debuted at a convention.  The person who told me about it did not delve far into the plot, but talked a little bit about the background of the story of the creation of the pilot itself. As production progressed, I followed the progress on Facebook, and Google+.  At first I was more excited about Star Trek continuing than the actual plot of Renegades.  I started seeing production pictures of Adrienne Wilkinson as Lexxa Singh and then I saw pictures of Chasty Ballesteros posed with a phaser rifle, and I knew this was not a typical Trek series.  I knew Sean Young would be involved, and I got really excited when I saw pictures of Courtney Peldon as Shree, an Andorian computer hacker. If this story was handled correctly, this looked like it would be an exciting adventure.  I have now seen it twice, back in May and now that the backers have a had the film released to them. The first time I saw it, I was too excited to really think about the plot more than "That was amazing!", but the second time I saw it, I really watched and thought about it.  I realized while watching it that instead of women quietly moving in the background and helping the plot along, the women are the main characters and it the men who quietly help the plot along.  This show would fill a gap in TV.  We need a woman who is at the helm of an action sci-fi series.

I was very wary of Adrienne Wilkinson's acting when watching trailers.  I thought she was going to chew the scenery, but I was very excited to see I was wrong.  Watching her scenes in context, you can see what motivates her to play the character of Lexxa Singh the way she does.  In some scenes, her acting is actually subtle when it needs to be. She gave a very strong performance.

I have liked Star Trek my whole life, even when it decidedly not acceptable to be an avid fan.  I spent my Saturday afternoons watching four hours of Star Trek on a local Fox affiliate. James Kirk was the captain that we needed in the 1960's.  He was a man's man. Every woman, regardless of planet of origin, wanted to be with him, and all men wanted to be him.  Jean-Luc Picard was a captain with the heart of a poet. When he was not avoiding the advances of Lwaxana Troi, he was reading or deep in conversation over Earl Grey tea, hot.  Benjamin Sisko was a very forward thinking father who turned out to be the prophesied Emissary of the Bajoran people, but he kept his cool under pressure even if he may have started the Dominion war. Then along came Kathryn Janeway.  Maybe it wasn't her fault she was an awful captain.  Maybe the stress of having her ship flung out to the Delta quadrant or maybe it was all the Maquis who had to join her crew that did it. Maybe Neelix switched her coffee to decaf and never told her. I did not watch much of Voyager because every show started with "Here is the problem." and Janeway responding with "I don't know anything at all about that." or "I am so confused."  Voyager could have been such a better show, but the captain never grew or held her own with well anyone really. It was disappointing to see such a lackluster performance from a female lead. Lexxa Singh is the female captain we need. She is not technically Starfleet, more of a contract employee for them.  She is the perfect mix of emotion and action that Jim Kirk, Picard, and Sisko embodied.  She had a troubled past and had to rely on her inner strength survive.

In the original series there were strong women characters.  You could not survive on the original Enterprise if you could not keep your wits about you.  The Next Generation brought us Tasha Yar, a character sadly killed off before we fully knew her.  Kira Nerys was the woman we waited for as Star Trek fans, but toward the end of the series even she was under utilized. Star Trek Renegades brings us a ship full of strong women characters.  Lexxa Singh and her almost entirely female crew show that we can have a strong female presence among the stars.   She is a very strong character who can carry the show, if it gets picked up.  I also enjoyed Chasty Ballesteros as the Betazoid Ronara who has a genetic defect.  Sean Young is excellent as Dr. Lucien.  She plays the character very soft spoken and I hung on every word.  Her emotions project off the screen and you understand why she makes the decisions that she chooses.

As I understand, the production crew is in talks with CBS to have Renegades picked up as a series.  As a fan, I would watch this on any platform.  It is not the typical Star Trek storyline, but it is also not typical Star Trek characters. These characters are outcasts, they have seen things that cannot be unseen. The may have done dark things for either the greater good, or their own personal gain.  I feel this as a show would lend much to the Star Trek legacy.

If you did not see Star Trek Renegades at Fed Con, and if you are not a backer, it will be available in its finalized version this summer. I urge you to watch it when it does become available.

 I did write a spoiler free review of Renegades. I also watched Of Gods and Men, which is by the same production team.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Today, June 10, 2015; Star Trek Renegades was sent to backers.  This is amazing. To date, the film has only been shown in Germany at Fed Con in May.  Fans can finally get a first glimpse at this project if they were not able to attend Fed Con.

It appears that the finished version will be released some time next month.

It is still not known if this will be a fan film, or a series.  As someone who saw Renegades, it would be an amazing series.

The production crew has asked that all that received the link to not share it at this time.

Also, this is not 100% finished. There are still some editing/effects work to be done.  If it looks a little rough, hopefully all the finishing touches will be done by next month.

Thank you so much for sharing this project. Speaking as a lifelong fan, this looks pretty good.  I did review  Renegades last month and you can read the review here:

Monday, June 8, 2015

My son, the ring bearer.

My friend L. is getting married in October and I am very happy for her.  Her fiance is a wonderful man and I know they will be happy forever.  L. wants to have a moderately sized wedding, and she wants to have a full wedding party including a ring bearer and a flower girl.

L. is a spiritual aunt to my little guy and he loves her.  We will actually be signing paperwork soon that in the event me and my husband were to pass away, L. would become his guardian.  She has been close to him since he was born.  Before the wedding was announced L. said my son would be her ring bearer.  I got a little nervous because he didn't start walking until last December so I thought for a while he might need a wagon.  Now the wedding date has been announced, L. and I spent a little time hanging out and looked at suits and tuxedos and discussed her wedding colors.  I am so excited my son will get to be a part of her special day.

I am nervous though because of the developmental delays.  He does not respond to verbal instructions.  Also, he lives in his own little world. He might not want to walk down the aisle, but wander around the venue.  He might not want to give up the rings when the time comes.  He also gets bored with objects easily and when he does, he throws them over his shoulder and walks away. All I can see is my son getting distracted, tossing the rings, and me crying and apologizing like crazy on my hands and knees scrambling to find their rings.  L. is going to have him walk with a 10 year old flower girl so she can instruct him down the aisle.  We also will be doing ring bearer practice at home.  I have asked L. if we can have him carry plastic rings so if he throws them it won't matter.  I am very much looking forward to all of this for him, and he is incredibly photogenic so he is going to look great in her wedding photos.  Also L. and her fiance know that my son has some limitations so I know they won't get upset.  I think this is just my overthinking and everything will be fine and go smooth.

Does anyone have any tips for us?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June 4, 2015 PT/EI plus something exciting for my son.

This visit was supposed to be at the park, but me and my son had a rough morning. He discovered his nose and has been enjoying picking it.  When I woke up, his face was covered in caked up blood and he was having trouble breathing, like he was congested.  After I cleaned him up, I discovered he had given himself a nosebleed, and a bad one at that.  By the time we were done sitting together, it was about twenty minutes before the PT visit was going to start and I realized he hadn't eaten breakfast yet. So we had the visit at home.

It was supposed to be just PT with T., but A. the EI service coordinator called and said she had a cancellation and asked if she could come by as well. I told her that it would be fine for her to come by.

When T. and A. showed up, I had some cool news. My son has started saying "go car" a lot. Like all the time. More words are a good thing even if only the speaker understands them.  My son has also started climbing!  He uses me to climb on to the back of the couch to perch up there and look out the window. He worked with T. to climb from the floor to an ottoman to the couch  and then up the back.  I was standing behind T. just being quiet and watching them when my son got very nervous and started looking anxiously behind him.  He has become more aware of his surroundings which is also good development.  When he finally saw me, he calmed down.

He was very apprehensious of A. and T. this week for some reason. He usually hugs A. and smiles at her, this visit he screamed and cried.  He is getting his molars in and he grew about five inches last week, no lie he had a major growth spurt, so we were thinking he was just in pain.

T. said not to keep the ottoman static, but to move it from one side of the couch to the other so my son can practice climbing on both sides, using both legs.

We discussed potty training again, but a little more seriously this time. My son does not like to dirty a diaper he already soiled. He will hold his bladder until you change the diaper.  Also, he has started taking his diaper off more.  We discussed how this could be hard because he is non-verbal.  The hints they gave me was to give him a plastic "bubble" book that can be washed off to look at on the potty and then he will eventually relax and go.  Also, T. said to take a picture of his potty and put it somewhere visible in the living room/his bedroom/the kitchen, just somewhere visible, and when it is time to go on the potty to tap the picture and say "Time to go to the bathroom." Eventually he will make an association and should be able to point to the picture of his potty when he needs to go.

The other thing we discussed was my son joining a play group for non-verbal children aged two to five or four at the Sensation Station. (  The playgroup will do sensory play and use musical instruments.  T. and A. are both pretty excited about this. The playgroup will run for 8 weeks and I think it will greatly benefit my son.  I should be meeting with the director of Sensation Station June 9 , and I will definitely blog about it.  A. filled out a disclosure agreement so she can reach out to the Sensation Station to help chart my son's growth.

That was pretty much it this week, but there has been some progress so like always, I am looking forward to next week's therapy.  It continues to help both me and my son.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Exciting Star Trek Renegades News!!!

I found out some things about Star Trek Renegades I wanted to share with you all :)

As you know I saw the movie and reviewed it (  Soon the backers  can also see the movie/pilot as well.  Looks like it will be released to the backers the beginning of July.  Backers, check your emails for updates.

Also, the production team is still in negotiations with CBS for a show on some platform to be developed.  It might be a web based show, which would be great since so many people stream shows anyway.  Hopefully we can get a limited run season at least. I know I would watch it, and frankly I streaming to television.  Any thoughts?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Being a nerd is its own reward.

Hope all of you can read this. I am reading some old Avengers comics while I am sick and came across this gem.

Remember to always reverse the polarity.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hearing Test 05/18/2015

This was a pediatric hearing test done at the Rhode School For the Deaf.  M. the Speech Therapist suggested we get a hearing test done to rule out hearing problems as a reason for delayed speech.  A. asked if we wanted her to go.  Since she is my son's Early Intervention Service Coordinator, I feel she should come to all our specialist appointments.  Not only is she an advocate should we need one, she is also an impartial third party.  She would definitely ask us how the visit went, but I feel that I would give her opinions, not just facts and she needs facts to add to my son's record.

When we met the Audiologist we gathered in his office.  He asked who we all were and why we were there. He then had me and my husband take our son into a sound proof room and sent A. into the lobby.  My son sat on my lap and the Audiologist gave him a stuffed animal to play with.  With my son distracted, he checked his ears and said they looked fine. Being nervous, I asked how can they look good with all the potatoes growing in there? He said a few potatoes were fine.  He then did a small test to check the anatomy of the inside of my son's ears.  The scan was fine.  He then conducted the same hearing test given at birth to all children born in the state of Rhode Island.  My son passed. The next phase of the hearing test was the Audiologist left the room and went into a room directly in front of us.  I was reminded almost of a sound recording booth. There was a large sheet of glass in front of us.  We could see him, but could not hear him unless he activated a microphone.  He could hear and see us.  In our room there were three speakers. One if front of us, and two to the sides.  There were also three light boxes in the room. One directly in front of us with Mickey Mouse, one on the left with Donald Duck and one on the right with a third Disney character.  My son was still clutching the stuffed animal.  The Audiologist would activate the microphone for the speakers in turn, then flash on and off the light box.  My son was totally unimpressed and ignored everything except for the stuffed animal.  The Audiologist then asked if I could take the toy away. My son took that opportunity to toss the toy on the floor.  The Audiologist proceeded to say my son's name at different volumes through the speakers. For about half a minute, my son was responsive. Then it was all over.

We went into the lobby to join A. and wait while the Audiologist prepared the results.  When we gathered in his office, he asked what my son's developmental age was. A. said her agency does not assess developmental age, but stated my son scored 5 out of a possible 35 on his communication assessment at our annual review. That assessment was based on an average 2 year olds developmental level.  The Audiologist said the results were inconclusive. Because my son's ears are anatomically fine, he doesn't believe there is damage to the ears, but my son was incredibly unresponsive to the stimuli. He said if I want to 100% rule out a hearing deficit, we can sedate my son and then do a brain scan. I am not even a little ok with that.  I think at 2 years of age sedation for an unnecessary procedure is totally not ok.  I know for a fact my son isn't deaf.  When he is deeply napping, when I go to wake him up I rap loudly on his bedroom door. He immediately gets startled. I believe there could be some pitches he might not hear, but  I don't think he is deaf.  The Audiologist suggested we come back in a few months for another hearing test, no sedation.  He then gave us copies of the inconclusive results for the Neurologist, the Speech Therapist and the Pediatrician.

My mom has been reading up on autistic children and autism in general.  Based on several of the behaviors my son displays, I think he may have autism.  This is not a bad thing, but I think if he has it, then in order to help him succeed we need to mold his therapies around his abilities.  My mother is currently reading The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin.  One of the topics discussed is hearing and autism.  Some people who have autism can only hear vowels, other only consonants.  Other people with autism can only hear certain tones and pitches.  Other people with autism are so into their own mind, or activity, they can't hear you.  I asked A. if she feels my son might be displaying some of the symptoms of autism.  She danced around her answer.  She finally said we can discuss my concerns with the Neurologist or if I can't wait until August to see him, we can call a different one.  I told her I understand she can't diagnose, but based on her experience does she think I might have an autistic child. She was quiet and hesitant and then finally said she has not worked with enough autistic children to give an opinion.

I know my son has sensory processing disorder. Maybe that is all we are looking at. But I want him to succeed and to live the happiest life he can. Although I think we are into labels, if I knew what we are dealing with, I feel I could better help him succeed.

Occupational Therapy 05/14/15

Sadly, this was  another short visit. My son had a low grade fever and was just miserable. I thought he could hold it together long enough for his OT visit, but he only lasted halfway through.

This visit, we saw C. the COTA and D. a student.  My son just loves D. She is very patient and funny.  I hope D. goes on to work with children because she will be outstanding.

This visit focused on functional play and attention.

I got very excited because C. brought  a bag full of toys. Then I got even more excited because she had a parachute that she pulled out. I do not know if kids today have gym class, or if said gym class uses parachutes but back in the 80s you knew gym was about to get awesome if a parachute was on the floor.  C. and D. tried to engage my son in playing with the parachute with hand over hand play.  At first he was very hesitant.  He wanted to walk on the parachute and C. was worried about him slipping and falling. (The last time C. came over he accidently hit his lip on  a toy and bleed a little. She felt incredibly bad about it.)  C. helped my son climb onto the parachute and set him down. She and D. then flounced up the edges making waves. They then both stood up, securing the sides and swung my son gently side to side. He did not like that at all. They picked up some of his stuffed animals and put them on the parachute with him, and made waves again.  Then they took him off the parachute and swung just the stuffed animals. After he saw that nothing happened to his toys, he allowed himself to be swung again.  He was feeling sick so he expressed frustration at this point and C. and D. took a break.

C. asked me if I thought the session had to come to an end. I said that I think OT is very important and I would like to try to continue.  I gave my son some water and pulled him up on my lap to remove him from the activity. I told her about my son's new habit of eating non-food items.    
We have a pussy willow tree outside and he ate a bud off the ground.  It must have tasted as delicious as it looked because he promptly spit it out. We went to visit a friend who has a dog, and my son petted him.  He came back with a large tuft of fur.  The same thing happens when he pets our dog so I thought he would drop it on the ground. Instead he tried to eat it. The fur had to be wrestled out of his mouth.  We went to my mother's house and she has a gravel driveway. My son was walking up and down the driveway, then he sat down to play. Boys play in dirt so this was ok with me. I was talking to my step-father then out of the corner of my eye, I saw my son's hand go up to his mouth.  I went to go investigate and he had all sorts of goodies in his mouth. He had sand, pebbles, bits of twigs, and bits of plants. She said to try to work his mouth the electric toothbrush. She asked if he could have been hungry or thirsty when he did this.  I know when he ate the dog fur he had just drank two cups of water, but for all the events I could not remember how long it had been since he last ate.  She suggested instead of using these events to give him a snack, maybe just add an extra snack into the mix everyday and make sure he is hydrated.

After my son had a good rest, C. and D. played with him with nesting/stacking cups. He tolerated that for about 5 minutes.  He doesn't always like being guided in play and he doesn't like stacking. He likes knocking over stacks.  He started flinging cups over his shoulder which upset me.  That is another thing he started doing recently. He flings toys backward, over his shoulder. He walks around the room doing that. He just paces and picks up toys and flings them over his shoulder. He does it with all toys though, and he has hit me a few times with wooden toys and some of the electronic toys  I am worried he will break.  Once he breaks a toy, it is going to be all over because I am not replacing toys simply because I don't have the money to do so.  I asked C. why he is doing this and she said he gets some stimulus out of it. She also said it is his signature move and she doesn't see any other kids doing it.

C. then pulled out moon sand.  My son was hesitant to touch it, then he gingerly plucked a small amount up with his thumb and forefinger.  He loved it.  They played with it for almost 15 minutes when he then attempted to eat some.  The only problem was, all the moon sand went on my rug and I have a cat and a dog and a toddler so our rugs no matter how much we vacuum are always covered in something.  The moon sand had a melange of animal fur and my fur and crumbs in it.  I felt really bad and that stuff isn't coming out of sand.  I asked C. if she wanted me to buy it off her because of the fur and she said no it was fine. Then I think she thought about it and then she said we could just have it.  Since she gave it to us, we have played with it outside on an old sheet.

The visit came to a very grumpy end after the moon sand was done with.  Hopefully the next session can be full length.

Speech Therapy 5/13/15

My son was very grumpy/upset today.

We got a visit from M the speech therapist and A the EI coordinator. M and A played with puzzles with my son. He got grumpy very quickly and A happened to touch his head. She noticed he was warm, so I took his temperature.  99.5 degrees,  not enough to be worried but enough of a temp to make him miserable.

I had some concerns about my son eating clearly not food items. We have a pussy willow tree outside and he ate a bud off the ground.  It must have tasted as delicious as it looked because he promptly spit it out. We went to visit a friend who has a dog, and my son petted him.  He came back with a large tuft of fur.  The same thing happens when he pets our dog so I thought he would drop it on the ground. Instead he tried to eat it. The fur had to be wrestled out of his mouth.  We went to my mother's house and she has a gravel driveway. My son was walking up and down the driveway, then he sat down to play. Boys play in dirt so this was ok with me. I was talking to my step-father then out of the corner of my eye, I saw my son's hand go up to his mouth.  I went to go investigate and he had all sorts of goodies in his mouth. He had sand, pebbles, bits of twigs, and bits of plants.   Of course I took him in the house and cleaned his mouth out.  The speech therapist said he is looking for input so I should give him something to eat. Something crunchy, or cold, or spicy, or sweet to give him input. I think this a good way to teach him to ask for snacks.  He doesn't get many non-fruit based snacks due a possible tree nut/pine nut allergy so its mostly fruit or fruit and peanut butter or Cheerios for snacks.  He does however eat a very well rounded healthy diet that includes crunchy, and cold, and spicy, and sweet 

My son responded well to the back and forth play and had a higher level of eye contact.  What we need to work on is back and forth play, then withholding a turn until he does something to indicate he wants to continue.

I also was the randomly selected parent of the month to do a survey.  As I have no complaints or problems with any of the services or service providers I think that should be pretty smooth and easy.

The visit was cut short due to my son being sick.

May 2015 Bluum box 25 month old boy

Hi all.

I have been extremely under the weather yet again. Same as before, a high fever and can't talk. This time; however, I can't swallow either.  Of course the fever hit 102 and I lost my voice around 11:00pm on Saturday night, the night before Sunday, before a holiday.  If I still can't talk/swallow tomorrow, I am going to get this checked out.  This is why posting has been light as of late. I have had an extreme sore throat for the past several months that comes and goes and I have been feeling stressed out and fatigued.

Because I can't talk, there again won't be a video unboxing. Hopefully next month.............

Could they have stuffed this box anymore?

This box looks really exciting. Let's dive right in.

This seems pretty cool.  We haven't started toilet training yet, although my son has been put on the toilet.  Actually starting next month when it will be hotter, and he will be wearing less clothing, I was going to start introducing the potty with more frequency.

Green Sprouts Disposable Compressed Wipes--I added this item to the box. We got this item last year and I absolutely love it in the summer time. They are compressed wipes made from plant fibers and are naturally antibacterial.  

This says it it suitable for ages 2-6 on the box, but my son is developmentally disabled.  He sadly won't be able to play with this for quite a while.  I like the concept though.

I added this to the box as well. Melissa & Doug My First Sidewalk Chalk Set. Since activities based on age don't work with my son, we go for activities based on ability, or activities that will enhance motor skills and/or help with sensory processing issues.  I like the grips on the chalk because if he doesn't like the texture of it, he can hold the grip. Also, since he has small hands, I think the grip will make using the chalk easier. 

We can always use more ice packs.  Actually, I like these because they are small and a regular ice pack takes up a lot of room in my son's small cooler. Also, space ships!

This is another Paragon Book! Dear Bluum, please keep sending Paragon Books! As I have stated in the past, I love this publisher.  

This is an adjustable wide brimmed hat. Sadly, me and my husband do like camouflage print. This will end up being a gift to someone. I would have loved this hat in any other print.